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Obi breaks silence on N3.5bn scandal, renders presidential campaign account

Presidential Candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has demanded a thorough investigation of alleged financial impropriety against the National Chairman of Barrister Julius Abure.…

Presidential Candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has demanded a thorough investigation of alleged financial impropriety against the National Chairman of Barrister Julius Abure.

Obi made the  call at a media briefing where he rendered account of the 2023 Obi-Datti Presidential campaign organisation funding, on Thursday.

“For the party (LP), I am a member of the party and they have chosen to say that I am the leader. What we need to do in the party and I have discussed it with the leadership is that we must now appoint a reputable audit firm to audit and be able to deal with the account of the part.

“When I am involved in money, it must be transparent. So the allegations and counter allegations now must be thoroughly investigated and verified and we would reconcile it and know what exactly yo do,” Obi said.

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Daily Trust reports that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the LP slammed a six-month suspension on its embattled National Treasurer, Mrs. Oluchi Oparah.

The LP NWC made the announcement during a press conference at the party secretariat on Wednesday in Abuja.

Oparah, however, told Daily Trust that she would challenge the suspension in court, as the NWC’s action was premeditated, especially that those who took the action when they knew she was not in Abuja to meet the less than 12-hour deadline to appear before a panel after removing her from the group’s WhatsApp platform.

She had, on Monday, accused the LP National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure, of mismanaging N3.5bn raised from the sale of nomination forms and fundraising activities in the build-up to the 2023 general election.

Also, on Tuesday while speaking on Arise TV’s ‘Good Morning Show’, Oparah also claimed that the Abure-led NWC is working hand-in-hand with the Edo State Government which is governed by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, at the Wednesday media briefing, the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Mr Obiora Ifoh, described Oparah as a mole who was being used by dissidents to cause disaffection in the party.

He said the party decided to sanction after she failed to honour an invitation by the party’s NWC to resolve the crisis.

At the Thursday’s briefing, Obi also appeal to various support groups or individuals or parties that received funding to support the campaign, for which they were grateful, to account to those they received it from.

He said, “Because there are some people, like support groups, there are some people even abroad who collected monies that they are going to use it in the north and everywhere. We were not stringent that everything you collect must come to us, but we want whatever is collected to be accounted for. This is why we are appealing to the public to let us know.”

We spent N744.5m on litigation, received N595.9m from Nigerians -Aisha Yesufu

Also speaking at the event, Mrs Aisha Yesufu, the Chairman of the Fundraising Team of the Campaign Organisation, said it spent over N744,500,000.00 on litigation in courts over the 2023 presidential election.

She also said that it received donations totalling N595,976,994.00.

“Accountability and transparency are very critical and important; that is why we asked people to donate so that we could come back to them to explain how their money was judiciously used. We thank everyone who donated in cash and kindness. From the donations from citizens, we received N595,976,994. This is the money we raised from the four accounts that we have talked about. We also received N8,000,000 from the candidate himself (Peter Obi).

“We designed a strategic blueprint focused on channeling the movement energy and support for Peter Obi and Datti Ahmed with different support groups. We provided direct and indirect support to over a hundred support groups across all 36 states in Nigeria.

“We also deployed media-related campaigns that reached over 11 million people, leveraging over 40 radio stations, community outreach, and social media.

“We would have loved to use televisions and all of that, but because of our financial constraints, we were mindful of being judicious in our usage of the funds that we received.

“So, out of these things, campaign materials worth N258,374,330.00 were procured and distributed across the 36 states and also in Abuja. Media and radio broadcasting was at the cost of N16,432,867.00.

“For the election promotion expenses, we had N10,808,948.00. For Polling Unit Agents, we spent N324,381,700.00. And then, of course, we had bank charges of N1,750,544.00.

“We also had administrative charges of N477,000.00. We deployed N744,500,000.00 to cover legal expenses. And then, in campaign and election activities, we had over N28,500,000.00. On the issue of legal fees, remember what I said earlier: We had N8,000,000.00 that the candidate himself brought,” Yesufu said.

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